Brilliant therapist in Manhattan or Northern New Jersey?
September 9, 2016 5:22 PM   Subscribe

I have treatment-resistant bipolar depression and anxiety. I've been working with the same therapist for 8 years and have made progress but feel like I need a new perspective. Minor special snowflake: I'm pretty smart, and I feel like I need a therapist I can't out-think. (Yes, I know how obnoxious that sounds.) Can anyone recommend someone in the area who they think is really pretty brilliant?
posted by cosmic owl to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
 
By all means, find another therapist, but be prepared to ask this same question in a year or 2 or 3 or 8.

Therapy isn't a game that's won by the most clever person. From my point of view, you're asking to find someone who can outsmart you, but that's not how it works. How about, instead of doing that, you put your need to be right to one side and work on improving areas in your life that are important to you.

Try laying down your weapons and see what it's like to be vulnerable in therapy. That's what you'd have to do with any therapist, new or old.
posted by jasper411 at 5:54 PM on September 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


A really good therapist needs to be smart, because of the pattern identification required, as well as the ability to make implicit assumptions or feelings explicit. But a therapist who's super smart can still be a shitty therapist, if they lack empathy, or the ability to step outside their own frame of reference. A therapist with a PhD is pretty much guaranteed to have a relatively high IQ, but ... picking the person with the most selective doctorate program is still pretty blunt as an approach.

I'll memail you with a couple names.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:58 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not to threadsit, but please don't make assumptions about the amount of effort and willingness I've put into therapy for the past 8 years, and maybe give me the benefit of the doubt. Thank you to those who have sent me names so far.
posted by cosmic owl at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


No one is doing that. From experience, I eventually had to decide that I didn't need to out-think someone just to prove something to myself, that it was a thing I could decide not to do, that others had expertise that wasn't about that metric. It took a very long time, despite productive therapy. "Really brilliant" isn't an objective standard. Might you need someone who isn't threatened by how sharp you are? Yes. Different thing entirely.
posted by listen, lady at 9:28 PM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Given your preferences, I would look at the scientific board / advisors for the NDMDA. Figure out who are some of the complex treatment-resistant bipolar experts in your area. Ask them to consult, or provide therapy directly, or provide referrals.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:30 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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